The only thing better than putting on makeup is taking it off! As much as I love makeup, I love having a bare face more; nothing beats leaving the house with just sunscreen or a little bb cream. So, when it’s finally time to take everything off, I definitely have my go-to products.

Because I love going makeup-free so often, I’ve tried quite a few different makeup removers over the years. I know what my favorites are, and I’ve discovered that I tend to favor water-based products over their oil- or silicone-based counterparts.

Whether you regularly rock a full face of makeup, or you prefer a more natural look like I do, there’s something on my shortlist for every need.

Milky Jelly Cleanser by Glossier: With my normal-to-oily skin, this cleanser is a little too gentle for my liking; I prefer something a bit stronger. But, MJC doubles as a makeup remover when applied to dry skin.

Because it is so gentle, it melts down makeup–even eye makeup–without any stinging or irritation. I love using this on dry skin first, to remove makeup, then following up with my go-to cleanser for a complete clean.
Like I mentioned, MJC is super gentle. It is formulated with a mild cleanser, similar to the one used in contact solution. Glossier also replaced 1/4 the formula’s water with rosewater, a popular soothing agent. $18, Glossier

Sensibio H2O Wipes by Bioderma: I’ve tried so many different makeup remover wipes, and these are at the very top of my list! Not only are they super saturated, they are full of Bioderma’s cult-favorite micellar solution.

Micelles act like magnets, pulling dirt, grime and other impurities from the pores, including makeup. I always keep these guys in my medicine cabinet at home, but they’re great for traveling, too! This is because, with their micellar power, they simultaneously remove makeup *and* cleanse the skin.

Bioderma’s cult-favorite micelle solution is also something I love to have on-hand because it’s great as a “second cleanse”. “Double cleansing” is popular throughout the beauty community, and personally, I’m a huge fan.

After removing makeup then cleansing with something soapy, I love going in with a micellar water like Bioderma’s; it helps pick-up any dirt and makeup the first left behind for completely clean skin. $9.90, Beautylish

Lash Nourishing Makeup Remover Pads by Pixi: As much as I love the mess-free ease of makeup remover wipes, many of them are way too harsh on my eyes and even cause lashes to fall out. So, I was so pleasantly surprised to discover these Lash Nourishing pads by Pixi while browsing at Target.

They’re specifically designed to remove makeup from the eye area, so not only are they super gentle, but they’re loaded with castor oil, which is known to strengthen hair, including the eyelashes. Plus, you get a ton of bang for your buck; a jar of 80 pads costs $10! (They’re double-sided, so one pad typically works for both eyes.)

Unlike coconut oil, castor oil is extremely thick and messy to work with, so finding the time to include it in my daily beauty routine has been nearly impossible. Thankfully, these makeup remover pads make it a breeze, and using castor oil on your lashes becomes a task as mindless as taking your makeup off! $10, Target

Coconut oil: Coconut oil, loved by so many for its countless purposes, works as a makeup remover–and it’s great for stubborn products, especially waterproof mascara. It also deeply hydrates and nourishes the skin around the eye area. And a little really goes a long way!

I *always* have a jar of coconut oil in my medicine cabinet because I love using it as a weekly hair mask, but it definitely comes in handy for those occasional intense eye looks that typical makeup removers just can’t clean up on their own. Prices vary, available at grocers

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Until recently I’ve never been a one-piece type of gal. But last year, I bought my first and never looked back; earlier this year, I added another one-piece to my swimwear collection.

As soon as I saw this swimsuit, I knew I had to have it. White is my absolute favorite color as far as swimwear goes, and this one couldn’t be more perfect: it’s low-cut and backless with just the right amount of cheekiness on the bum. Even though it’s a one-piece, this suit has plenty of sex appeal.

I am also a huge fan of spaghetti straps (in fact, I hope to wear a spaghetti strap wedding gown one day); I love how delicate they look, plus they accentuate the collarbones. This suit has classic spaghetti straps, but one is adorned with ultra-femme pink flower appliqués. Though it is eye-catching, it’s far from flashy, so I feel this suit is girly in a grownup way.

Although I tend to have tomboy-inspired style (I can’t live without my ripped jeans or oversized button-downs), I love to get girly from time to time. When the weather gets chilly, I go for skirts and stockings, but during the summertime, I am all about sexy swimwear.

Additionally, it’s always cool to support small, up-and-coming designers. I purchased this piece via Poshmark from a user named ninaroserusso who hand-sews this suit, as well as a few other similar ones (including a matching ‘kini).

This suit is feminine and fashionable, but because it’s a one-piece, it’s also practical! It’s comfortable while swimming, and it’s also great for relaxing poolside with a book or mag. I believe this suit is also simple enough that it’ll never go out of style, so I can’t wait to break it out next summer, too!

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Just like we take vitamins to boost our bodies’ performance, our skin needs supplements to help it become its strongest. That’s where serums come in.

Serum. The word itself sounds intimidating. Pleasant, but intimidating. So, many women (especially young women) fail to include serums in their skincare routines. After all, who’d put something on their face that they know little to nothing about?

I truly believe that the lack of serums in our skincare routines comes from a lack of understanding. There are so many different serums on the market; it seems impossible to know which one is right for you (or which one will give you the most bang for your buck–some serums can be pretty pricey).

But, that’s just the thing–Glossier insists you’re not just a “skin type”. Throughout the course of a month, multiple environmental and internal factors play a role in throwing our skin off-balance (some of which we have very little control over). Life happens, and we need a few different serums to help us along the way.

That’s where Glossier comes in.

Nearly a year ago, the New York-based skincare and makeup company debuted The Supers: three nutrient-rich serums for both the beauty newbie and the beauty junkie alike.

If you are new to serums (or skincare in general), don’t worry: The Supers are super simple (pun intended).

There’s Super Bounce, to restore your skin’s moisture and elasticity (like after a long flight or when you’re hungover).

Then, there’s Super Glow, for when late nights or secondhand smoke (or anything else) leaves your skin dull.

And lastly there’s Super Pure, to calm blemishes caused by stress, hormonal freak-outs or junk food binges.

Unlike other serums on the market with which many of you beauty junkies may be familiar, The Supers aren’t loaded with the various mixtures of the same oils that only provide temporary relief but do nothing for the long-term well-being of your skin. (Some of these oily serums may also be too much for sensitive skin to handle, doing more harm than good in many cases.)

Per Glossier, “over time Super Glow evens skin tone, and creates a light-reflective complexion,” while Super Bounce “plumps skin up with moisture and brings back elasticity for supple softness—the ‘bounce’ you want.”

And Super Pure not only “visibly soothes redness and helps calm blemishes,” but also “gets troubled skin in check and flushes out impurities, including excess sebum that builds up inside pores.”

Together, The Supers “refill your skin’s deficiencies, strengthening it day after day.” Because on a given day, your skin’s needs can change, and Glossier believes your product lineup should help you adapt–and I couldn’t agree more.

You can shop each Super individually, or save when you choose The Super Pack, which includes all three serums. They’ll fit perfectly into your already-established skincare routine: after cleanser, before moisturizer.

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In the fight against fast fashion, one of our most powerful tools is American-made and U.S.-based fashion. Once centered in New York’s Garment District, U.S.-based retailers are popping up in Los Angeles and gaining massive fanbases.

As they cater to a younger, more stylish crowd than many New York-manufactured retailers (such as Nanette Lepore), this new wave of American fashion is changing the scope of the industry for the better–they’re alternatives to both fast fashion *and* traditional high-end labels that tend to be outdated and impractical.

Below, I’ve gathered five of my favorite U.S.-based retailers whose pieces have earned their place in my day-to-day wardrobe.

Top and trousers both by Reformation

Are You Am I: A favorite among bloggers, Are You Am I was founded by a blogger herself named Rumi Neely, also known as “fashiontoast”. This collection of upscale, not-so-basic basics puts a younger, more modern spin on must-have pieces like plain white t’s, bodysuits and day-to-night dresses.

Backbite: If you’re a vintage lover like me, look no further than Backbite, an LA-based, online-only thrift shop. It’s no secret that the best vintage is found in large cities like LA and New York, but for those of us who live outside these metropolitan areas, reliable vintage shops are few and far between. Thankfully, there’s the Internet.

In addition to stunning, one-of-a-kind vintage pieces, Backbite also specializes in unique in-house designs. Personally, I am a huge fan of their vintage-t’s-turned-bodysuits. Plus, it’s run by a team of boss babe BFFs who put SO much attention to detail into their work.

Like most good vintage, their pieces are on the pricier side, so be sure to sign up for their mailing list and follow @backbite_ on IG for updates on the shop’s sales and giveaways!

Minimale Animale: So, this one isn’t technically fashion; it’s solely swimwear. But, I just had to include it because these smokin’ hot ‘kinis and one-pieces are designed and manufacturing right here in the U.S. of A. I am a huge fan of this label for so many reasons, but the fact that it is U.S.-based is at the top of the list.

The simple, yet unique designs set these swimsuits apart from the rest. Inspired by old-school swimwear of the 1980s and 90s and ultra-skimpy, Minimale Animale stands out for all the right reasons. They will make you wish for summer all year long.

Reformation: Impossibly chic but far from trendy, Reformation, another LA-based shop, is the antidote to a world plagued by fast fashion retailers. No matter their personal style, it seems It girls everywhere love this eco-friendly retailer.

Founded in 2009 on the basis of sustainability, Reformation offers both seasonal and timeless pieces that can be styled for a multitude of occasions from the office to happy hour and beyond. And like I said, they’ve got something for your steez, be it preppy, boho, athleisure or anything in between!

Revice: Good denim is a necessity no matter what. But surprisingly, a great pair of jeans is hard to find nowadays. The first time I ever put on a pair of jeans from Revice, however, I was so pleasantly surprised because they are suspiciously comfortable and couldn’t be more flattering.

With a quality pair of vintage or vintage-inspired jeans costing upwards of $100 today, Revice Denim’s prices really can’t be beat. And although killer denim is definitely worth investing in, their prices range from about $58 to $98, so Revice won’t break the bank.

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Earlier this year I discussed my favorite natural beauty remedies on Haute Mess. Since then, I explored the natural beauty community further–it’s so much bigger than most of us realize!–and fell in love with several other earthy remedies. After all, isn’t that my duty as a blogger?

While my previous post focuses on treating facial skincare concerns, this one is geared towards the body and wellness overall–something that’s just as close to my heart (and just as important in general).

Over the past few months I’ve definitely gotten into a handful of different natural remedies. Summer is all about naturally glowing, smooth skin, and these products definitely help me achieve just that. And as the seasons change, I am super excited to have these newfound loves in my collection all year long.

Bone broth: I always say that beauty starts within, so having an overall healthy lifestyle is a huge part of my beauty routine. Recently, I’ve really gotten into bone broth because it is loaded with minerals and collagen.

A brand called Epic, available on Thrive Market, has four yummy bone broth flavors made with simple, super food ingredients like turmeric and apple cider vinegar. My favorites are the chicken and bison flavors, but they also offer beef and turkey. I love to sip on a warm cup of this health food before bed a couple times a week to help me unwind while loading up on nutrients.

Schmidt’s deodorant: Natural deodorant was something I never really thought about in the past to be completely honest. But, I started doing some research after a few of my fellow Glossier Reps mentioned they were into it and decided to give it a try.

I discovered an affordable brand called Schmidt’s (available on Amazon and Free People, one of my favs) and asked the girls about it–thankfully, it received their seal of approval, so I went ahead and ordered it. I chose the charcoal + magnesium one.

Schmidt’s is formulated without harmful ingredients like aluminum, propylene glycol, parabens and phthalates. Plus, it’s certified vegan and cruelty-free, and made in the U.S., which I love!

Coffee: I’ve never, ever been a coffee drinker. But, I love using coffee grinds as a body mask and scrub; exfoliating helps combat ingrown hairs and softens the skin. Last winter I got hooked on Cup O’ Coffee from Lush, a mask made with cocoa extract and, of course, coffee.

Not only does it smell like a warm, comforting drink while it buffs away dry skin, it also contains kaolin, a mild clay that gently draws impurities from the pores. There is a variety of research from a ton of sources that suggests caffeine, like that found naturally in coffee, has skin-firming and anti-aging properties.

Stylecraze.com writes, “Free radicals are responsible for causing premature skin aging. This results in the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and loss of elasticity…The antioxidants contained in caffeine can attack these free radicals and eliminate them…[improving] the overall appearance of your skin.”

The caffeine in coffee also helps combat cellulite.

“Caffeine present in skin care products can dehydrate fatty cells. This results in the water disappearing from the surface of your skin…[minimizing] the appearance of cellulite,” Stylecraze.com continues.

I always keep Cup O’ Coffee in my medicine cabinet because I love using it once every 7-10 days. In less than 10 minutes, this body mask gives me a top-to-toe deep clean and the exfoliation I need.

Sea salt: Much like coffee grinds, sea salt is great for exfoliating the skin–and it contains a few other benefits, too! Because salt acts as an antiseptic, per livestrong.com, it removes bacteria living on the skin, unclogs pores and reduces inflammation.

When the skin is freshly exfoliated and dead skin cells are buffed away, it allows for the regeneration of healthy new cells.

“This regeneration process tightens the skin, giving it a firmer and younger-looking appearance,” according to livestrong.com.

“Skin regeneration also reduces skin discoloration, evening out skin tone and improving texture.”

Lately, I’ve been loving Ocean Salt from Lush, a body cleanser and scrub made with coarse *and* fine sea salt. This product makes my skin impossibly soft, and, like everything else from Lush, Ocean Salt does its job while smelling like heaven. It’s even gentle enough for everyday use (personally, I alternate between this one and a more moisturizing body wash).

Shea butter: Shea butter has been a popular ingredient in body lotions for yeeeaars, but I never realized the miracles it works–until this summer. A couple months ago, Bali Body sent me a free Luxe Moisturizing Lotion with my order (thanks, BB!), and I’ve never loved a body lotion so much. Coming from someone who is as picky with her body lotions as I am, this is say a lot!

This lotion has a silky, liquid-y formula that never, ever feels sticky or greasy; it instantly sinks into the skin. And because it is full of natural ingredients like Shea butter, it never caused any irritation–even on my ultra-sensitive neck and chest.

After only a few uses, my parched summer skin was softer than it had been before–so much so that I could actually skip a day without compromising its hydration. I will definitely be purchasing this lotion sometime in the future, but first, I plan on checking out other Shea butter formulas.

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